INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 30, 2015)–There’s a drug that costs pennies to make but sells for $15 and can’t be abused and can save lives and the Indiana Attorney General will soon remind doctors to prescribe it and pharmacies to keep it on hand.
Republican Senator Jim Merritt of Indianapolis told dozens of parents and friends of opiate drug users that the AG will issue a notice on making Naloxone available to the public.
“We’re expecting an advisory opinion from the attorney general of Indiana that says to doctors of Indiana it’s okay to prescribe Naloxone for anybody and that there’s no danger, there’s no liability, that pharmacies are ready to dispense it and we’re ready to go.”
Attendees at a conference at Juan Soloman Park sponsored by Overdose Lifeline lamented that the life-saving drug is not always in stock or available for users who want to protect themselves or loved ones who want to save them from overdose.
“I think it’s sad that it takes getting to a certain point or affecting a certain group of people before people take a look at it and what we can do to prevent this,” said Kaylan Fields who wears a shot adorned with a photograph of friend she met in rehabilitation and lost to a heroin overdose. “There’s no certain look or style for it and I’m grateful for whatever reason it’s getting out.”
One mother said she had to learn to remove the locks from her bathroom doors to keep her addicted son from hiding his drug addiction.
“Addicts usually use in their bathrooms in their homes and they lock the door so that they have their privacy and they will turn on the showers to the family thinks that they’re taking a very long shower not knowing that their person is using in the bathroom,” said Dominque Leveque whose son was a teenage lacrosse player. “Children that are already feel demeaned in someway, have low self-esteem, more easily fall into the peer pressure trap being one of the gang they want to be accepted.”
Merritt said Indiana was one of the first states to make Naloxone available to the public, so reminding doctors that they face no liability for prescribing it and pharmacies that a standing prescription to make it readily available are the next steps to putting the antidote in the hands of friends and loved ones so that a user can live long enough to enter treatment.
“We only have 13 clinics in the State of Indiana we need to find a way to say to the addicted or someone who has recovered from an overdose, ‘We can help you. We can rehabilitate you.’
Merritt added that while it costs $42,000 a year to incarcerate a drug user in the Department of Correction, a year’s prescription of the drug Vivatrol to keep that user off opiates is $12,000.